Been Busy

mom-visits

Where have I been? Well, I’ve been a little busy lately and I got out of my newly found habit of blogging in the morning. I’ll blame it on my mom. But it’s a good thing. My mom came to visit me for a week (while my dad drove a friend’s van from Portland Oregon to Austin Texas) and she actually gets up earlier than my kids so it was kind of nice to have some morning company for a change. But that also kept me away from my computer. So if you were wondering where I was, I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee and chatting with my mom. It was super nice to have her around.

In my old age I have come to love cooking. I know those who are older than me are laughing and shaking their heads. Shake away, I’m right behind you. This is really great except it has been a source of frustration for me when my kids turn their noses up at my newfound love of cooking. I mistakenly think to myself that if I put love into my cooking, they should reciprocate that love with compliments and requests for more of my loving cooking. Harumph! It’s not going that way at all. Not that it won’t someday, but presently they are not interested. In fact, they would much rather not eat my cooking at all in favor of a bag of chips with a side of YouTube. They ask me what’s for dinner and then decide if they are hungry or not. You probably know how that goes.

You can imagine how wonderful it felt to hear compliment after compliment from my loving mom when I made her special dishes that stayed within the boundaries of her new healthy living die-t (that we have corroborated on together). I am super thankful for my relationship with my parents right now. I think this is the natural way of things. When your kids start to pull away from you to become their own strong individuals, you find comfort in your parents. At least that is how it is working out for me. My relationship with my parents is better than it has ever been.

I know I’m lucky. My parents had me when they were barely twenty so we don’t have that many years between us in age. Bug will not be so lucky. When she is my age, I will be (hang on, let me grab a calculator) eighty-three. EIGHTY THREE! I only plan to live until 82 so that’s kind of grim. Of course I could live until I’m 120 so who knows.  Anyway, I’m super thankful for my parents right now.

my-nature-trail

My mom left Saturday and now I am back to my usual routine. She did leave behind a photo album from that trip we took when I was sixteen across country in the broken-down RV so I am looking forward to blogging about that. It will be challenging though. I might have to fill in some gaps in my memory with a little fiction, and maybe embellish a little to protect the identity of my loved ones.

This morning I walked the nature trail with the dogs and I made you a little video. I had a rough anxiety-filled night (it was so stupid, I was stressing about the strangest things. I’ll elaborate later.) and I’ve been trying to start my mornings with positive thoughts instead of long lists of things I need to do. Most days I am not successful at this new morning mantra, including this morning. There I was thinking about all the things that are bothering me and all of a sudden my nostrils were hit with the super strong scent of honeysuckle! I didn’t take a picture. I should have but I was busy with dogs and dog poop bags and just not ready. But my point is from that moment on I took myself out of my anxiety filled brain and I started to notice how pretty it was outside!

It was really pretty this morning. Summer is definitely in full swing. The brush in the nature trail is dry and brittle. All the creeks (except that one really swampy one) are dried up. The mustard and queen Anne’s lace are dead. Their white branches look like tiny birch forests for squirrels and quail and speaking of quail, they are everywhere! I saw dozens and dozens of quail. If you have a keen eye, you might even see some in my movie but they are tiny specs.

My to-do list is still flapping away like a rolodex connected to a fan but I’m ignoring it in favor of checking in with you and sharing all the beauty around me. I love where we live. I love California. I know we have a bad reputation for traffic and politics but in the nooks and crannies are the prettiest things and of course everyone knows we have the best weather. So I’m trying to dwell on these things instead of worry.

prickly-pear

So pretty, right? I’ve been watercoloring a lot more lately too. The hardest part is getting myself to sit down *and slow down* in order to paint but once I do I am very happy.

A friend sent me some pink lemons and avocados and of course those lemons were screaming at me to paint them.

painting-pink-lemons

To the untrained eye, the painting looks pretty good. Don’t look too close, it’s very messy. But just like everything in life we can’t obsess over little mistakes. Just blur your eyes and soak in the pretty parts. That’s my mantra these days.

Puppuccinos

dog-whisperer-1

I have become quite the crazy dog person. Half my life I only liked cats and then after we had Holly I became a hardcore dog person. Maybe even too much so. I don’t let them eat off my plate or share my toothbrush or anything but I have been known to make quite a fool of myself talking and playing with my dogs. Saying they love me would be an understatement. They have become unhealthily attached to me and whine obnoxiously when I am gone. I love it. Payam hates it.

So this week my mom has come to visit. My dad is out of town on a job and I am taking care of my mom by keeping her on her diet while he is gone. Mom’s do 100% better on their diets when someone else cooks for them. You should try it. :P

With her came Spreckles! So I had three dogs to walk this morning. No problem! Bring it on, I say! It’s not like we haven’t been here before. Spreckles can be a prickly dog and has been known to bite (Ugh. I know.) but when she is with me and my dogs, she acts like just another pack member and is no problem.

puppuccinos

Today I took all the dogs to Starbucks with me for Puppuccinos. Do you know what a Puppuccinos is? Check it, one two.

We have a new Starbucks in our neighborhood that is smack in the middle of my new-and-improved dog walking route.  I don’t go to the fake lake anymore because there are just tooooo many people walking around it. I hated confronting people before the pandemic but now I hate it even more with the new mask-wearing social distancing rituals.  This new route is on a busy road and it seems most dog walkers prefer a more scenic route. Road noises are not a problem for me because I put headphones in and listen to podcasts anyway.

The perk to this new walk is the new Starbucks. I wasn’t really a fan of Starbucks, preferring my own brew at home, BUT it can be enticing when you walk by it every day. I don’t go every day of course but about twice a week we pop in for a tall latte for me and Puppuccinos for the dogs. It took about two visits before the dogs learned that Starbucks is super fun and wonderful and we should go there all the time. Whisky is the worst. He pulls me like he’s pulling a 100 pound sled as soon as we get within eyesight. It’s kind of hilarious.

My dogs love Starbucks. I might miss taking lake photos but silly dogs lapping up whipped cream out of little paper cups is pretty fun too.